Virtual tour guide of Angkor Wat developed by ANU

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Image by Tokiriki, source: https://flickr.com/59722994@N00

via Canberra Times, 10 August 2018: Interview with Dougald O’Reilly on the Angkor Audio Tour app which is based on a former work, An Interactive Guide to Angkor – Dougald O’Reilly.

An ANU archaeologist has developed a new app that acts as a virtual tour guide of the ancient Angkor Wat ruins in Cambodia

Source: Virtual tour guide of Angkor Wat developed by ANU

Angkor Park guard halts religious ceremony

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Source: Phnom Penh Post, 09 August 2018

via Phnom Penh Post, 09 August 2018: A group of tourists were prevented from performing a religious ceremony in Angkor Wat, which led to their brief detainment. It’s important to note that Angkor Wat is still a religious site and that some religious rituals are performed there at a regular basis, and people who wish to do so have to seek official permission in order to do so.

A group of Vietnamese tourists and their Cambodian guide were briefly held for questioning on Wednesday after they attempted to perform a prohibited religious ritual inside Siem Reap’s Angkor Archeological Park.

Source: Angkor Park guard halts VN religious ceremony

Tour guides voice concern over app that will offer audio tours

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via Phnom Penh Post, 07 August 2018: Potential for technology to disrupt the tourism industry in Siem Reap, but part of this story doesn’t make sense. Guidebooks and apps about Angkor are already widely available (eg. the award-winning Interactive Guide to Angkor by archaeologists Dougald O’Reilly and Charles Higham). Tour guides do offer one advantage over apps and books – the personal touch and the ability to ‘read’ the tourist for things that might interest them more. Perhaps that is one way for the tourism industry to adapt – by offering quality and personalisation.

Tour guides at the Kingdom’s historical sites are voicing concern over an audio tour app they said is threatening their careers. Developed by local company Angkor Audio, the app provides spoken tours in 14 languages.

Source: Tour guides voice concern over app that will offer audio tours

Categories: Angkor Cambodia Tourism

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Ayutthaya Tuk Tuk Rally to promote tourism

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va The Nation, 02 August 2018: Sounds like a fun thing to do – zooming across the Ayutthaya World Heritage site in a tuk tuk while solving puzzles in Thai Traditional Dress.

The Ayutthaya provincial administration is holding a tuk tuk rally on August 18 and 19 to promote tourism to the historical site.

Source: Tourism on three wheels – The Nation

See also

Is UNESCO World Heritage recognition a blessing or burden? Evidence from developing Asian countries

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via The Conversation, 11 July 2018: a piece by Josephine Caust

With colleague Dr Mariana Vecco, I recently published a research article about these issues. Some of our recommendations for vulnerable sites include:

  • introducing control of visitor numbers as a matter of urgency
  • tighter planning controls on adjacent development
  • querying the use of sites for any tourist activities
  • auditing sites for damage already incurred.

All of this should occur if UNESCO status is to be continued. However, there is also a bigger conversation we need to have – should tourists visit vulnerable sites and practices?

Hoi An is still a beautiful town but the presence of “wall to wall” tourists mars it. Sadly, as long as UNESCO status is used more as a marketing device than a route to preservation, the situation will continue to deteriorate.

Source: Is UNESCO World Heritage recognition a blessing or burden? Evidence from developing Asian countries

With Cambodia ‘drowning in a wave’ of waste, plastic could be banned at Angkor Wat

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via Channel NewsAsia, 30 June 2018: I hope a ban on plastics takes place. Earlier this year I organised a Workshop on Sustainability and Tourism for Archaeological and Heritage Sites and waste management was one of the topics that came up as a pressing issue.

A future ban on plastic in Cambodia’s world renowned Angkor Archaeological Park will be considered by authorities, in what could be symbolic step in the country’s struggle to deal with a waste crisis.

About 30 tonnes of waste is collected from within the 400 square-kilometre complex on a daily basis, according to VGREEN, the company contracted to cleaning the popular tourist site.

Much of that garbage is discarded plastic, which is contributing to an ever-worsening situation in Cambodia, which lacks proper infrastructure and the social awareness to deal with the problem.

Cambodia, per capita, is one of the highest users of consumer plastic in the world. According to the European Union, ten million plastic bags are used in the capital city Phnom Penh every day. The average Cambodian uses 2,000 plastic bags every year, ten times that of Europeans.

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/asia/with-cambodia-drowning-in-a-wave-of-waste-plastic-could-be-10388780
Source: With Cambodia ‘drowning in a wave’ of waste, plastic could be banned at Angkor Wat

MoU promotes cross-border trips between Angkor and Sukhothai

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via Bangkok Post, 15 June 2018:

Thailand’s Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Dasta) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Cambodia’s Apsara Authority to exchange knowledge and expertise about community-based tourism and World Heritage Site management.

Source: MoU promotes cross-border trips

Apsara eyes legal action over drones at Angkor Wat

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via Phnom Penh Post, 14 June 2018: Remember, flying drones over the Angkor Archaeological Park is not allowed. As a drone flyer myself I should point out that a good area of the Angkor park (including Angkor Wat) is near an airfield which means flying there generally a bad idea!

The Apsara Authority wants stricter legal action against those illegally flying drones at the Angkor complex in Siem Reap province.

Source: Apsara eyes legal action over drones at Angkor Wat

Categories: Angkor Cambodia Tourism

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Room rates in Bagan needs to decrease: tourism official

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via Eleven Myanmar, 30 May 2018:

“Their room rates are also higher than the room rates of hotels across the country. Although room rates are high, entrance fee for Bagan archaeological zone is low. Foreigner needs to pay Ks25,000 to visit the zone. So the ministry should increase the entrance fee and decrease the room rates,” said an official from the Ministry of Hotel and Tourism (Bagan zone).

Bagan has about 3,000 rooms available across 85 hotels located in four hotel zones but most are small and medium standard.

Source: Room rates in Bagan needs to decrease: tourism official | Eleven Myanmar

Categories: Bagan Tourism